Bookshelf Envy

People who really know me know that organizing information is part of my feeling of orderliness I enjoy cultivating.  I was hanging in the library before it was cool. Killing time and conquering things categorically. 

I participated in Book It! in grade school where if you meet your self set goal for number of books read, your teacher would give you a coupon to Pizza Hut.  The best part about it was that you set your own goal. I kept raising the bar on myself and meeting it, which was exilirating. This was before movie watching at home.  

When I look back on the highlights of my life, its a history of libraries.

The second hand smoke in the library of Pamplona where I looked at cave paiting books. 

The Bibliotheque Nacionale Francais where I read Kantorowicz’s the King’s Two Bodies. 

My biggest fright came to me when a professor said that libraries should be renamed forgetteraries, because once you’re book is in there, everyone forgets about it. 

When I look at the books on my shelves I remember where I was emotionally and physically when I read it, and where I went in the book. So, I don’t really have bookshelf envy, I haven’t definitively explored all the nooks and crannies of my own reading. I like the books that have something new each time it’s re read. I like the books that make me underline, and inspire my own marginalia. I like comparing David Foster Wallace on tennis to the precursor essay by Hemingway on bullfighting. You can only draw two random books into relation if you’ve read several. 

Jorge Luis Borges says that he gets sad in bookstores, because he can’t re buy all the books he likes. 

When there’s the idea of going somewhere with no internet or tv, or thinking it may go out at my home which it often does, I know I’ll never be bored because of all of the authors on the walls ready to tell me the story again. 

The Garfield County Public Libraries has a number of branches with many resources. 

I do have bookshelf envy when I’m in certain homes of certain people who have better collections than mine. 

I do want to hear about your first editions. I have a first edition of Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution, gifted to me by some colleagues and its treasured. 

I’ve been in the homes of true sages, and in each case there was not enough shelving for the books. 

I feel the same about side tables, headboards, and shelving of all kinds. The more there is, the better.

If you need to go shopping for a larger home to get more bookshelf space, see my home search bar here.